The Ultimate Cook Book: 900 New Recipes, Thousands of Ideas

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9780060833831: The Ultimate Cook Book: 900 New Recipes, Thousands of Ideas

Here's the ultimate of ultimates: nine hundred new recipes from Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough, the authors of the Ultimate cookbook series. With a quarter million books already in print, their series has followed a simple recipe to success: Give cooks hundreds of solid, basic recipes with thousands of ways to vary them, shake them up, and personalize them so that everyone can be an ultimate cook!

With The Ultimate Cook Book, Weinstein and Scarbrough tackle everything from breakfast to barbecue, stir-fries to steaks, chilis to curries, and paellas to puddings. Pick your favorite, cook it as a solid basic, or vary it in hundreds of ways to make the dish your own. You've got years' worth of dishes and a world of cooking experiences ahead of you. What could be more fun?

Take chicken, that ubiquitous blank canvas. Roast a whole bird to perfection. Bake it under a salt crust for a dramatic presentation. Roast chicken halves atop winter squash. Prepare a Greek-style casserole with leeks, pine nuts, and raisins. Stuff chicken breasts with a Moroccan-inspired mixture of couscous and spices. There are more than thirty ideas for preparing boneless, skinless chicken breasts. And ten things to do with a leftover roast chicken or that rotisserie bird purchased on the way home. Get the idea?

This comprehensive, easy-to-use compendium is the ultimate in inspiration, the ultimate in possibilities. Start your Ultimate cookbook collection today—or round it out with The Ultimate Cook Book.

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Review:

In books from their popular Ultimate series, including The Ultimate Shrimp Book and The Ultimate Brownie Book, Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarborough have plumbed the depths of single-subject cookery, offering base recipes with many variations. The Ultimate Cook Book, their magnum opus, follows the same approach--over 900 recipes with variations are included for every course and occasion, including breakfast and snacks, plus a wide range of breads and desserts. Included are straightforward takes on old favorites, like roast chicken and hamburgers; innovative versions of familiar fare, such as Grilled Chili, and Banana Layer Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting; and "new" fare like Whole Fried Fish with Two Asian Sauces, Lemonade Bread, and Baked Pasta Casserole with Blue Cheese, Peas, and Artichoke Hearts. Present also are informative side bars, such as Know Your Greens, and equally enlightening notes on ingredients, equipment and techniques.

Falling somewhere between an all-purpose cookbook and a modern-classics compendium, this is an ambitious work that usually succeeds. Offering, for example, a basic recipe for deviled eggs and then providing six possible fillings for them, or supplying seven ways to bake thin fish fillets, is a welcome approach that helps readers grasp cooking anatomy. Occasionally, however, variations seem to have been included for their own sake, as when, for example, a lengthy list of alternative additions, including curry powder and lemon zest, is offered for scrambled eggs--the fact that one could use them doesn't mean one should. In addition, recipes, both traditional and modern, are not always in best taste--my grandmother would have rightly looked askance at matzo balls made with garlic and onion powders, and, probably, Winter Lasagna with Mushrooms, Spinach, and Tarragon too.

These things said, the book offers many solid, easy, and delicious formulas, like Tuscan-Inspired Pork Loin with Potatoes and Garlic and a wide range of cobblers with fillings including fig and pear cranberry, plus much useful and innovative insight into the cooking process itself. Cooks at all skill levels should find it a welcome kitchen addition. ---Arthur Boehm

About the Author:

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the award-winning authors of nineteen cookbooks. They are contributing editors to Eating Well and columnists for weightwatchers.com, and they contribute regularly to Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, the Washington Post, and other publications. When they're not teaching cooking on Holland America cruise ships, they live in rural Litchfield County, Connecticut, with a fairly sane collie named Dreydl.



Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the award-winning authors of nineteen cookbooks. They are contributing editors to Eating Well and columnists for weightwatchers.com, and they contribute regularly to Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, the Washington Post, and other publications. When they're not teaching cooking on Holland America cruise ships, they live in rural Litchfield County, Connecticut, with a fairly sane collie named Dreydl.

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